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Author Topic: Best SSD drive for Win7 64 Ultimate  (Read 12086 times)
Bill Koenig
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« on: August 23, 2012, 11:00:02 AM »
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I'm planning to move my OS to a SSD hard drive. I make images of my OS and right now and it comes at about 80 GB.
I'm thinking about getting a SSD in the 256 GB range so there's plenty of free space.
I don't want to have to upgrade this any time soon, so I want the latest and greatest.
Recommendations please.
My PC is old (2006) and has SATA II, but I will be upgrading to a new one next year, I will be building that my self, so that is something else to consider. 
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John.Murray
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 11:17:48 AM »
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The Intel 330 and 520 Series drives are SATAIII and great performers:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/solid-state-drives-520-series.html
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/solid-state-drives-330-series.html

the 330's are provisioned with less slack space along with a 3yr warranty

If price is no object the OCZ Revo Drive
http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive-pci-express-ssd.html

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Sheldon N
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 02:32:41 PM »
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I'd probably choose the Samsung 830 right now, with my second choice being the Crucial M4. Both are excellent drives and good value too.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 05:34:58 PM »
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The Intel 330 and 520 Series drives are SATAIII and great performers:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/solid-state-drives-520-series.html
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/solid-state-drives-330-series.html

the 330's are provisioned with less slack space along with a 3yr warranty

If price is no object the OCZ Revo Drive
http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive-pci-express-ssd.html



+1 on the Intel 520. I did a light review of it here and it has a 5 year warranty.  I think when you consider the level of validation, warranty, and that the speed/performance is either at or near the top when compared against the best on the market.. this is the drive to get if the small premium doesn't bother you much.

+1 on the OCZ Revo 3 x2.. but know it takes a PCIe slot and requires loading drivers independently during a Windows install.  Time (it's been out over a year now) has shown it to be reliable. the 3 year warranty is decent, and it's at least twice as fast as any SATA based SSD.  I have one of the original mach 1's and it's still working great..

The OCZ Vertex 4 is another I'd recommend.  I'm currently reviewing it but so far three weeks in its' impressive, 5 year warranty, and a bit less than the Intel 520.
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 08:19:41 AM »
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Thanks for the reply's everyone. I have a couple of questions, before I order this from New Egg (it's only $250.00)
First, will this work on my 6 year old Dell 380 Precision Work Station that only supports SATA II? I'm running Win7 64 Ultimate, I know I won't get top speed on this setup, but I will be building a new PC next year.
I want to use this externally with a eSATA cable that plugs into a adapter on the back of my PC which then plugs directly into port zero (the boot port) on the mother board, this has worked well with my SATA II hard drives. The reason, is the fact that I still need WinXP for some applications, and this way I swap OS's quickly via two different drives, and thus, no longer need a duel boot on a single internal drive that I've been using now. The need for WinXP is just to print longer than 37" on mt Epson 3800.
Also, any recommendations on a external inclosure for this SSD that has a eSATA plug that will work with this drive?
I've searched for answers to these questions on the net, but haven't found anything yet.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 08:30:06 AM by Bill Koenig » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 10:33:54 AM »
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Thanks for the reply's everyone. I have a couple of questions, before I order this from New Egg (it's only $250.00)
First, will this work on my 6 year old Dell 380 Precision Work Station that only supports SATA II? I'm running Win7 64 Ultimate, I know I won't get top speed on this setup, but I will be building a new PC next year.
I want to use this externally with a eSATA cable that plugs into a adapter on the back of my PC which then plugs directly into port zero (the boot port) on the mother board, this has worked well with my SATA II hard drives. The reason, is the fact that I still need WinXP for some applications, and this way I swap OS's quickly via two different drives, and thus, no longer need a duel boot on a single internal drive that I've been using now. The need for WinXP is just to print longer than 37" on mt Epson 3800.
Also, any recommendations on a external inclosure for this SSD that has a eSATA plug that will work with this drive?
I've searched for answers to these questions on the net, but haven't found anything yet.

1.  Which one are you looking at?

2.  Yes, you can use a SATA III drive on a SATA II port.  Like USB 1.0, 2.0, etc.. they're backwards compatible with the newest standard.

You can also buy an inexpensive SATAIII/USB3.0 adapter as an alternative.. but keep in mind the only ones I know of use the older 9128 Marvel controller which speed wise will put you somewhere in the middle of the SATA II  and newest SATA III.   Maybe John knows of an inexpensive SATAIII adapter with an Intel or newer Marvel controller?

Another alternative would be to get one of the low cost Sandisk SSD's (about $150 for a 256gb) or even the Crucial M4 to use with your current SATA II ports knowing when you retire this system you can migrate it to a SATA II equipped laptop you might already have to increase it's performance.   The SATA III ports are already at or near saturation on sequential speeds, but have a lot of room to go on the 4k's.. so a year could bring greatly improved drives.. especially considering the new SATA controllers rolling out soon.

Keep in mind with your old system.. that in your BIOS you should be able to set your SATA controller to ACHI vs. IDE.  This is important.

3.  Win7 is necessary for TRIM operation.   Win7 pro and ultimate also include virtual XP.. this won't work with your 3880?

4.  There should be no issue using any SSD with an ESATA port.

5.   Personally I wouldn't bother with an enclosure.  I'd just get a square of 3m double stick tape and stick the SSD on the outside of the case where you can easily pull the SATA data cable as necessary.  You could put it under your case if the case has wheels or enough clearance, on a side you normally don't access, behind any easy to access panel.


Good luck with your project.  You'll really enjoy the new SSD.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 12:06:41 PM »
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The need for WinXP is just to print longer than 37" on mt Epson 3800.

As Steve mentioned, if you are running 7 Pro / Ultimate, you can host XP as a Virtual Machine.  If not, Oracle's Virtual Box will work fine - both VM's have access to USB ports if your Epson happens to be connected that way.

Steve also raises an excellent point if you do choose to dual boot - check (but don't change!) your BIOS settings for disk access - Dell will typically give AHCI, RAID or IDE options - (you *really* should be using AHCI for windows 7) but if it's set to RAID or IDE, you'll have to leave it be (Win 7 will bluescreen immediately on bootup if you change).  If you are set to AHCI, and choose to install XP, you'll need to F6 in a driver at the beginning of the XP install.......  have a floppy handy Smiley
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 12:52:28 PM »
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Thank for the reply John. I ordered the Intel 520 from New Egg, it comes with a adepter so you can use it in a 3.5 inclosure, and I have 4 3.5 external inclosures all with eSATA ports.
I have recent images of both Win7 64 Ultimate SP 1, and WinXP pro SP 3, and I've successfully imaged a external drive with the eSATA connector in the past, and my PC will boot just fine with this configuration, so there will be no need for my old internal duel boot on a 1 TB drive. That drive will be formatted and used as backup, plus the other two external drives will backup both internal drives, and the two  external drives will be backed up by two more drives using a hard drive dock and kept off site.
So buying the Intel 520 SSD, it frees up the other 1 TB drive, almost like getting two drives for the cost of the 520 Cheesy
Thanks for the help everyone.

BTW, all of this came about, because Win7 picked up a nasty virus that only affected my boot drive, all of my back drives were not effected.
I strongly recommend imagining your OS on a regular basis, I use Ghost 15, Win7  has it built in and I use that on my lap top, works great.  
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 01:08:57 PM by Bill Koenig » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 05:14:56 PM »
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Thank for the reply John. I ordered the Intel 520 from New Egg, it comes with a adepter so you can use it in a 3.5 inclosure, and I have 4 3.5 external inclosures all with eSATA ports.
I have recent images of both Win7 64 Ultimate SP 1, and WinXP pro SP 3, and I've successfully imaged a external drive with the eSATA connector in the past, and my PC will boot just fine with this configuration, so there will be no need for my old internal duel boot on a 1 TB drive. That drive will be formatted and used as backup, plus the other two external drives will backup both internal drives, and the two  external drives will be backed up by two more drives using a hard drive dock and kept off site.
So buying the Intel 520 SSD, it frees up the other 1 TB drive, almost like getting two drives for the cost of the 520 Cheesy
Thanks for the help everyone.

BTW, all of this came about, because Win7 picked up a nasty virus that only affected my boot drive, all of my back drives were not effected.
I strongly recommend imagining your OS on a regular basis, I use Ghost 15, Win7  has it built in and I use that on my lap top, works great.  

1.  You should check your ESATA versions.  Many of the older enclosures are SATA I.  Same with motherboards, as recently as the x58 chipset ESATA ports were SATA I.  This will really restrict the speed of ANY good SSD.   If you find this to be the case pick up a SATAIII/USB3.0 adapter for about $19 like the one I reviewed here, and if you can look for a newer one with the newer Intel controller for absolute best performance.  These are very easy to install and set up.  And don't hesitate to double stick a SSD inside your case in the most convenient location.. they throw off just a bit of heat and zero vibration because they're not mechanical.

2.  Be wary of your partition alignment, especially if your current image isn't a native Win7 partition.  At the very least run the math and check it.  If you don't want to think about it, do a fresh build.  An unaligned partition could set your SSD performance back significantly.

3.  Agreed.  I use Ghost 15 myself and have three sets of images being created 24 hours apart.  One on my NAS, another on an internal drive, and another on S3.. And that's just the system drive.  My image drives are incrementally backed up each time they're used, again to three different destinations.    I didn't know the Windows 7 imaging system IS Ghost 15.. it certainly doesn't need to have the feature set anyway.
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 12:31:32 PM »
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Thanks for the reply Steve, and the advice is very much appreciated.  

My PC is a Dell precision 380 work station, I purchased it in 2006, but I think it came out 2004 so its old. It came with SATA II HD so the Motherboard must support it. The chip set is a Intel 955. It does have a open PCI-Express x8 card slot (wired as x4) I do know its PCIe 1.0 I found that out when I upgraded the vid card which was PCI 2.0 but still worked, just slower. Is it possible to upgrade to PCI 2.0? My guess is its hardware related. The only reason for going with the SSD is the fact that I will building a new PC next year, I wanted try it out now, but if it doesn't work on my 380, its not a big deal as will get used later.

This PC didn't come with a eSATA port, but the external hard drive inclosure I have came with a adapter that plugs into MB and attaches to back so you can plug in the eSATA cable.  
The Asus U3S6 has been discontinued at New Egg, and can't seem to find one anywhere. If you can find one let me know, is there is something else that would work?

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean on line 2 of your reply.

Yes, I use Ghost 15, and I have a recent image of Win7 64 Ultimate OS, made that after I installed Lr 4.
The "Drive Copy" you mentioned sounds interesting. So far I haven't tried to restore Win7 from my image, just XP, But the first thing I did after installing Win7 was to make a Clone, and I had to use that because of glitch just after Win7 and all of my software installed, it worked just fine, but that was two years ago and would be a nightmare to put everything back.
Because of the virus, I wasn't going to even boot my PC, I was just going pull the drive and restore to the new SSD, now you have me wondering if its going to work.

The imagining app in Win7 is not related to Nortion Ghost as far as I know, but it does work as I used it to move the OS on the old HD to a larger one.      



« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 04:55:13 PM by Bill Koenig » Logged

Bill Koenig,
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 05:07:46 PM »
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Bill -

I didn't mean to put you off getting an SSD.  Your new 520 SSD WILL work in your machine just by plugging it into any SATA port and the performance will much better than your fastest mechanical drive. 

However, to make an SSD perform at it's best performance levels there are other things we need to pay attention to, especially on older machines. 

I think in your case the best route is an inexpensive SATA III controller.  There are several at Newegg.com such as this one for $32.00.  Ideally we could find one with a modern SATAIII controller and not the older Marvels, but off the top of my head I don't know of one.  In any case this will give you your best performance, probably about 80% of it's potential where a SATA I Esata would be about 25% of it's potential and SATA II 50%.

And the SATA III adapter will allow you to not worry about your BIOS and ACHI settings.. it's already set up for you.

Partition alignment is something you won't need to worry about if you build a new copy of Windows7.  And if your migrating from a image which was a native Win7 build then 'chances are' you won't need to worry about it.  If you were on the fence as whether or not to migrate from an image or start a fresh build, this might push you one way or the other.

And no, there is no way to upgrade your PCIe ports other than with a new motherboard.

In the next year when you start thinking of your new system, think about putting one together yourself.  You'll have a lot more control over the specs and you'll learn a lot.. better value too in most cases.
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 06:08:16 PM »
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Steve, again, thanks for helping me out. The latest image is all I have because of the virus I some how picked up, and I'm very careful, always run with basic user privilege. My next PC will not be online, if only for updates.
I see that the link gets good reviews, I'll order one tomorrow. I'll let you known how it all goes.

Thanks, Bill. 
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 09:16:43 PM »
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Steve, again, thanks for helping me out. The latest image is all I have because of the virus I some how picked up, and I'm very careful, always run with basic user privilege. My next PC will not be online, if only for updates.
I see that the link gets good reviews, I'll order one tomorrow. I'll let you known how it all goes.

Thanks, Bill. 
I'd lean towards a new build.. even without the virus, just because of partition alignment I'd do a new build.

When you boot you'll see your main boot BIOS screen first.. and then the separate boot screen for the new card.  Here is where you'll set it for ACHI (it should be there by default), set your RAID type, etc..

Good luck.  For sure you'll love the SSD..
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 09:54:36 PM »
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I was in similar position a month ago but I already had an older SSD in the desktop. My laptop really required one and as it didn't really need the newer drive I just put the newer drive in the desktop. It also supports only SATA II but I plan to upgrade in 1-2 years.
I got a Samsung 830 (256 GB) and comparing to the old Intel drive the reading speed went up a little (10-15%) but the writing by much more (30-40GB/s vs ~250GB/s) so for your current system the reading speed (and probably the writing one) will be limited mainly by SATA II than by the drive, so if you don't plan to upgrade soon any drive will do and you can get a newer one in few years when you upgrade the system.
Intel 520 seems to be vey good also, and maybe Crucial M4. The Samsung was on sale so a better value (I got it for about 220$).
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2012, 12:08:59 PM »
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I'd lean towards a new build.. even without the virus, just because of partition alignment I'd do a new build.

When you boot you'll see your main boot BIOS screen first.. and then the separate boot screen for the new card.  Here is where you'll set it for ACHI (it should be there by default), set your RAID type, etc..

Good luck.  For sure you'll love the SSD..

Hi Steve,
In regards to a new "Build" could expand a bit on that, I can't make another image with a virus on my OS, so my guess, is that isn't what you meant.
I have a above average knowledge of computers, but by no means am I a expert, so I'm sorry that I don't understand some the things your trying to help we with. But I really appreciate the help. Computers are a never ending learning experience. 

Bill.
   
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2012, 03:30:58 PM »
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Hi Steve,
In regards to a new "Build" could expand a bit on that, I can't make another image with a virus on my OS, so my guess, is that isn't what you meant.
I have a above average knowledge of computers, but by no means am I a expert, so I'm sorry that I don't understand some the things your trying to help we with. But I really appreciate the help. Computers are a never ending learning experience.  

Bill.
  
Bill -

By a new build I mean to do a new from scratch Windows 7 installation, re-install all your programs, etc.   There are several issues using your existing image:

a.  The virus or remnants of the virus could be on it.

b.  Your partition alignment could be off.

c.  Depending on how old the installation is that the image was built on.. there could be a lot of undesirable flotsam floating around.

I'd do this:

1.  Install your new SATA III board.  Boot up using your old drive, make sure the drivers install, etc.. power it down.

2.  Remove your current system drive and plug your new Intel 520 into the new SATA III board.

3.  Install a new copy of Windows, install your programs, and enjoy..

AND.. don't worry about drive bays, slots, etc..  Find the coolest place in your case and double stick tape the new Intel 520 in that location.  Then run the cables to it.

I hope this helps.

Steve
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2012, 06:12:11 PM »
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John,

I work for the University of Wisconsin, I qualify for a educational discount, so all of my software is limited to how many times it can be reinstalled, which is twice and this is only for PhotoShop and Lightroom, not the OS, I've already purchased a copy of Win7 64 pro for my next PC (I've already purchased Ultimate, and I can only purchase that one time, thus the need Win7 pro) before Win8 is the only choice, that's the catch that comes with this discount. I was saving the second install of PS/LR for my next PC, thus one the reasons I use Ghost, so reinstalling really isn't a option.
Yes, there still could be a virus hiding in my last image, that just came alive, or maybe not.
 I know can activate Photshop up to 5 times before I have call and have done over the phone, so that's not a problem.
The alinement problem you talk about, that is something I known nothing about.
With all of this said, do I have possible problem, other than the fact, there could still be a virus?

Bill.

 
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Bill Koenig,
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2012, 01:23:05 AM »
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You can reinstall PS or LR as required, but you need to deactivate previous installations first.  This is not an educational-product limitation.

If you've had a complete crash and can't deactivate the previous copy(ies) then just contact Adobe for assistance and they can help you with that.
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Bill Koenig
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2012, 08:01:27 AM »
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You can reinstall PS or LR as required, but you need to deactivate previous installations first.  This is not an educational-product limitation.

If you've had a complete crash and can't deactivate the previous copy(ies) then just contact Adobe for assistance and they can help you with that.

Farmer,

That's good news, I will contact Adobe, I will also contact the University software store just to see what they have say as well.

Thanks, Bill.
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Bill Koenig,
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2012, 03:09:57 PM »
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I just got off the phone with the University educational software person. He told me that I should be able deactivate my copy Win7, thus saving my remaining instillation (you only get two installs with the educational discount)  
He also gave the phone number to Adobe tech support so I can deactivate, and then reinstall my Adobe software, again saving the second instillation.
Also he gave a link to a web site that will give me software license management software, so I can save a PDF copy of all of my license info as a backup if something goes wrong with Adobe.

Steve, I have the Intel 520 and the SIIG SC-SA0L11-S1 PCI-Express 2.0 SATA III (6.0Gb/s) 2-Port Host Adapter ordered. In one of the reviews I found this info:


The controller is ASMedia...not the feeble Marvell I once had before.


Question, I'm wondering why I would want to install the adapter before I do a clean install?

Thanks, Bill
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 03:29:18 PM by Bill Koenig » Logged

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